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The assessment of economics journals in Italy

Arturo Hermann (Senior researcher based at ISAE (Institute for Studies and Economic Analyses), Rome, Italy)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 26 September 2008




The purpose of this paper is to outline the system of assessment of economics journals in Italy, with particular attention to its implications for the development of a heterodox approach in economics.


The paper sketches the most important aspects of the Italian system of assessment of economics journals.


By employing the available sources of information, the main features of Italian periodical literature in social sciences are pin‐pointed. These consist of a large number of journals and, at the same time, there is an absence of ranking procedures for these journals based on impact factor criteria. Journals are mainly assessed through more “qualitative based” criteria: in particular, their scientific orientations, the standing of their Editorial Boards, and their level of diffusion among libraries. One important reason that might explain this trend lies in the blending of different strands of social thought that are at the heart of our cultural tradition. In fact, most such contributions have a distinct humanistic flair, which emphasizes the relevance of feelings, values and collective action in human experience.

Research limitations/implications

The paper stresses that this system of research assessment, while having the merit of preserving some pluralism in social sciences, does not guarantee in many cases a well‐defined evaluation of economics journals, research institutions and individual contributions.


The paper highlights the importance of fostering a pluralistic‐oriented research assessment that should take into account, through a comprehensive and participatory social value process, all the factors relevant for a thorough appraisal of scientific contributions.



Hermann, A. (2008), "The assessment of economics journals in Italy", On the Horizon, Vol. 16 No. 4, pp. 286-288.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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